White Oak Farms Taps a Sweet Legacy
The southernmost maple syrup producer in NYS is in our backyard.
The retail shop at White Oak Farm.
Photos courtesy White Oak Farm
White Oak Farm
With his hands in his pockets, Bri Hart stands at the foot of a hill on the farm he owns in Yorktown Heights, surveying the land he has loved and lived on for decades. It’s been a busy day at White Oak Farm, and he’s juggling a slew of projects. Still, he stops to reflect on the property that’s been a focus of his life for nearly half a century.
“We’re a working farm, and we’re always expanding,” he says. “We’re always busy.”
Owner Bri Hart. Photo by Alessia Forni
The original farm dates back to the 1800s and had fallen into disrepair until the 1970s. Today, the farm’s main focus is maple syrup, something Hart obtains by tapping more than 2,400 trees on the property. The farm stands as the only commercial maple producer in Westchester County. Along with maple syrup, a small retail space on the property offers other treats, like maple candies and maple-peanut brittle.
“I eat probably 15 to 20 gallons of maple syrup every year,” Hart says. “We use it for everything. We cook with it; we put it in our coffee and tea.”
In the winter months, the farm becomes a favorite spot for those searching for their Christmas trees. The farm is also home to a commercial bandsaw mill and circular-saw mill, two dry kilns, and a full woodworking shop.
Classes at the sugarhouse teach backyard maple-syrup-making. Photo courtesy of White Oak Farm.
Elsewhere on the 10-acre property are four beehives, and the farm offers honey to visitors in the warmer months.
“Local raw honey is the best thing in the world,” Hart says. “There’s nothing better.”
On February 17 and 24, from 9 a.m. to noon, the farm will host a $50 workshop on how to make your own backyard maple syrup.